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OSBI Investigator Urges Witnesses In Carina Saunders Murder To Come Forward

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The murder of Carina Saunders has baffled investigators for five years. The murder of Carina Saunders has baffled investigators for five years.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

The murder of Carina Saunders has baffled investigators for five years.

The 19-year-old was found dismembered in duffel bags in a field near N.W. 23rd and Rockwell in Bethany, October 13, 2011.

As the anniversary of that gruesome discovery approaches, investigators are revealing new clues.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) made a plea to the public Wednesday, offering up to a $10,000 reward for possible video evidence of the killing.

Investigators hope it will help them track down the suspect(s).

10/12/16 Related Story: OSBI Releases New Details In Death Of Carina Saunders

"I don't want someone else to suffer the way my family has suffered, because we suffer every day, " said Sara Saunders.

She is haunted by the knowledge that whoever violently killed her sister, Carina, remains nameless one unsettling year after another.

Saunders was first reported missing on September 28, 2011.

State investigators believe she was last seen alive on October 8, 2011, getting inside a red, dual cab pickup truck at the Newcastle Casino. A man who was seen getting out of the truck had tattoo sleeves on both arms.

OSBI Special Agent Jim Ely is working to identify that man and others in the truck, as well as, a group of women who were in a car pleading with Saunders not to leave in the truck that night.

According to the OSBI, Saunders did not have a vehicle nor did she own a cell phone. 

OSBI agents want to speak to anyone who gave Saunders a ride, or let her use their phone from September 28, 2011 up to when her body was found October 13, 2011.

"We want to narrow the time between when she was reported missing and when her remains were found," said Ely.

Bethany Detectives later zeroed in on two suspects Jimmy Massey and Luis Ruiz. Witnesses claim they abducted Saunders, held her in an abandoned home on S. Harvey in OKC, then tortured and killed her.

Her horrific end was further depicted when an autopsy found "violent death" was the cause, and homicide was the manner of death.

By July 2012, Massey and Ruiz were charged in the murder.

The timeline of what follows has been hotly contested. Eventually, the case was turned over to the OSBI.

On February 5, 2013, Bethany Police said the case could use a "fresh set of eyes".  Nearly two weeks later, prosecutors dismissed the charges against the suspects.

This week, News 9 asked the agent assigned to the case if this case would be solved.

" We're in it for the long haul, I may not be around when this case is solved, it may be another agent ten years from now, but I can assure you we do have resolve," said Agent Ely.

Ely took over the case one year ago. Since then, he's reviewed hundreds of witness interviews and laboratory reports. Ely said he's consider every theory that's come about in this case including the suggestion the murder is tied to drug and human trafficking.

Nothing has been ruled out. Agent Ely said much of what they have now is secondhand information.

"To be frank with you, we want facts, and we want firsthand witness accounts, physical evidence that can tell us what happened," he said.

According to the OSBI, many who have been interviewed by investigators claim to have seen a video of her murder. No one has a copy or clips of that video.

"I believe there is a video... based on the human intelligence that we've been given… information from people that say they saw," said Ely.

So, the OSBI is offering up to $10,000, the largest amount available under state law, for a copy of that video.

Carina's family is hopeful it is the encouragement someone needs to come forward after all of these years.

"How can you sit there and watch this beautiful girl be murdered and tortured in horrendous ways and not want justice -- where is your humanity," questioned Sara Saunders.

If you have any information, call the OSBI hotline at 1-800-522-8017. Other relevant information about the murder will be considered a reward.

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